5.9.16: National – (Politics): After spending a week in Birmingham, AL with community leaders from around the country for the 3rd annual Cities United Convening, I am not only recharged, but encouraged to act with urgency. At the gathering, we discussed best practices for, and solutions to, changing the narrative for America’s young men of color.
I was reminded during the conference that the Cavalry isn’t coming to save our communities but rather the Cavalry, in the form of enlightened and impassioned citizens, is already here.
Mr. Shawn Dove, CEO, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, drove this idea home while simultaneously bringing me – and I’m sure others, too – back to a place of understanding personal power. I was reminded that I play a part in both changing the world and the lives in it.
I also understand that everyone around me also possesses the power to invoke change. No, we aren’t Gods or a form of super-human, but we are capable individuals gifted with unique tools, resources and perspectives to do great things. And while it’s easy to get excited thinking about our gifts and how they can impact the globe, we must acknowledge that capabilities must align with willingness.
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For example, in my hometown of Chicago, many people, including myself, are capable of fighting against the violence, but the staggering level of crime and the perceived bleak outlook for many men of color can and has put willingness in a state of paralysis.
If we’re honest, we can admit it’s quite difficult to act when we don’t see a purpose, or even a path to victory. But at the conference, which took on the appropriate theme of ‘The Fierce Urgency of Now,’ I heard the stories from two young men who, in addition to working in the field of non-violence & peace building, were also victims of violent shootings.
It became obvious to me that I, nor we, can’t continue to sit back and inquire of who’s going to save us. We were not created to be minimal in thought or action. And we certainly weren’t designed to concede our power and, instead of acting in the interest of our survival, wave a white flag seeking rescue.
It is time for us all to move with the fierce urgency of now, aligning power with willingness and putting ourselves in position to change the world. We must believe in our true calling as the Cavalry.
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